/Messaging Giant WeChat Freezes Third-Party Blockchain App

Messaging Giant WeChat Freezes Third-Party Blockchain App

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WeChat, a Chinese messaging, social media, and payment application developed by Tencent, has suspended a third-party blockchain application that initiates contract agreements by app users, local news outlet Caijing reported May 9.

The mini-program, called Xiao Xieyi (or Mini Protocol in a literal translation), was launched on Wednesday and touted as a service that would allow users on WeChat to initiate contractual agreements, according to the Chinese business news outlet Caijing. However, the app, which is owned by Tencent, suspended the program within a day.

The app, according to Caijing, would allow users to encrypt and record Ethereum network based agreements for a fee. However, less than a day after launch, the application was suspended. The app stated:

“Xiao Xieyi has been suspended due to violation of the service. We apologize, the content of the program has been suspended due to the fact that the content is not authorized on the platform.”

In March 2018, Tencent CEO Ma Huateng said that the number of active users of the messaging app exceeded 1 bln per month worldwide, making it the fifth largest social media network worldwide. The majority of users is concentrated in China.

“The Mini Protocol is now being suspended because the type of its service is not yet authorized by the platform,” the app said.

Upon reaching consensus, the tool – developed by a Beijing-based blockchain-as-a-service platform called Niuco Box – would encrypt and record agreements on a blockchain for a fee. The funds raised through the app would pay miners who write transactions onto the network underpinning the application.

The effort may mark one of the first moves by Chinese blockchain developers to make the technology accessible to mainstream social media users. In March 2018, Tencent CEO Pony Ma claimed the messaging app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users across the wor

Recently, David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s messaging app Messenger, announced that the social media site is exploring possible applications for blockchain technology. As part of the initiative, Marcus will reportedly set up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook.